There were a few things you didn't do in Gotham if you wanted to keep breathing.
One of those things towards the top of the list was 'pissing off the Joker'.
If you wanted a one way ticket to the happy hunting ground, then you irritated the man in purple. If you didn't have a death wish, you avoided annoying him at all costs.
"Cut off my own arm? Sure, Mister Joker, sir! Anything you say! Just don't kill me."
But someone didn't seem to grasp the fact that you weren't supposed to actively try to make him angry. Someone did something so unspeakable that he was on the warpath, and murder and mayhem followed him as a result.
The moment 'Memoirs' had been published, the Joker had sent a henchman to get his paws on a copy. What better way to cheer himself up than with more adoration written by that whoever-she-was that worshiped the ground he walked on? Now that she had resurfaced, alive and unharmed, she'd seen fit to write another book--one that most likely dripped with compliments for the clown prince of crime!
Sadly, the way he was portrayed in the volume was far from being complimentary. As he flipped each and every page, his smile drifted downwards (as far as his disfigurement would allow, at any rate) and rage bubbled to the surface, brutally shoving all his jolliness aside.
He threw the hardcover right back in the face of the henchman who'd fetched it, knocking him over with its sheer size.
The audacity of the author to suggest the Joker antagonized Batman because he was in love with him! How absurd! More than absurd! Absolutely insulting!
The Joker had poured over 'Diary Of A Henchgirl', wearing out the spine of his copy in Arkham as he read and reread it, enjoying the way the unknown author appreciated him from afar, and this…this was just such a slap in the face!
Oh, she was going to pay for this presumption! If he had to hunt her to the ends of the earth, he would find her and wring her neck for this trash!
The Joker wasn't the only villain in Gotham who was angry about their representation in the recent best seller, but he was the only one who actually implemented a plan to get back at the author and her fellow henchgirls.
It was unknown to the Captain and Al that there was a plum colored shadow watching their every move as they left the grocery store, each with a large paper bag clutched in her arms, but it became quite apparent as the made their way down the block when the aforementioned shadow came out of hiding and stood before them on the sidewalk in all his violet clad glory.
His smile was a little too broad and his eyes looked just a little bit too eager as he stared the two women down.
Not surprisingly, they dropped their bags in shock, not bothering to even consider stooping to pick them up again.
Egg yolks and orange juice ran over the pavement as he loomed over them, all disconcerting grin and intimidating height, not to mention the rather worrying lime green spray canister he had in his hand.
"Where's the other one?"
The Captain blinked, calling up all the information she possibly had on the Joker. All she could hear in her head was a miniature Donald O'Conner, dancing around singing Make him laugh. Make him laugh. Make him laugh.
He didn't laugh, but his smile got a little wider. "You're funny." He glanced at Al, who'd gone chalk white. "Breathe, dear."
A heaving gasp was his answer. After all, she wasn't going to disobey the guy who held her life in his hands…he was just nuts enough to spray them for something so trivial as not following his order to breathe.
He let out a little chuckle. "Repeatedly, that's the way breathing works."
Al was hyperventilating before she knew what was happening, certain that an asthma attack wasn't far behind.
"You're awfully good at following orders, aren't you?"
Dumbly, they both nodded.
"Good, tell me where the one who wrote the book is," he swept his gaze over both of them. "Now."
The Captain and Al didn't get the opportunity to answer, the sound of applause exploded from the window of the shop he'd cornered them in front of, coming from the televisions on display. Some random daytime talk show was playing and while under ordinary circumstances he would've just returned to terrorizing the author bitch's friends, the fact that the cover of 'The Very Secret Memoirs Of A Henchgirl' flashed across the screen held his attention rapt.
"Welcome to a very special live edition of the Vicki Richardson Show." The host was a very angry looking little woman with white blonde hair and a bossy demeanor as she virtually shouted into her microphone. "The author of 'The Very Secret Memoirs Of A Henchgirl' has come out of hiding to speak with us today, and I do hope you'll all give her a warm welcome: Miss Tammy Wilcox!"
A busty blonde walked on stage, perfect hair, perfect teeth, perfect everything…
The Joker paused and glanced at the two terrified women in front of him, narrowing his eyes as he struggled to recall what the third of their trio looked like. "That's not her."
It wasn't a question, it was a statement. He didn't even need them to confirm what he said, he knew.
Without a word, he gave them and the television one last look before he turned on his heel and stalked away.
Whether he knew that Al had fainted from oxygen deprivation as he sauntered away wasn't clear, but the Captain noticed it.
Or would have, if she hadn't joined her friend in stressed out delirium.
The television studio where the Vicki Richardson Show was taped was blown to smithereens and nobody was really surprised about it, either. Especially not the people who'd bought the book and realized that to insult a villain was to incite their wrath.
However, an explosion, in the opinion of the Joker wasn't a degrading enough death for the woman who'd slandered his name.
She was never found, but rumors surfaced about the fact the Joker had given her a nice new pair of cement pumps to match the pretty purple bruises he'd been so kind to provide all over her body. It was thought she was at the bottom of the nearest lake, but some people wondered if maybe the Joker had been a mite bit more creative than that.
It took less than a week for things to get straightened out in the criminal community and for Techie's own halfway-decent name to be cleared of all crimes involved with that travesty of a book.
Clinton Gillinsby hadn't been quite as lucky though. When it was found out that the woman who'd written 'Memoirs' was a fraud, he lost most of his good authors as well as his reputation as a respectable publisher.
What's more, he got the joy of a visit from the Scarecrow and his henchgirls, who were very put out about the whole messy business, and he only barely escaped being flayed alive by swearing up and down that he hadn't known the book was a fake and that he'd make it right.
He escaped being flayed alive, sure, but he didn't get out of being a test subject for an eager Jonathan Crane's newest fear toxin variation, and they left him in his office, a blubbering mess before they set the building alight and watched it burn.
Quite possibly the most unusual thing that happened after all the dust settled was a gift that was left at the Scarecrow's lair.
A dozen bright purple poppies were on the doorstep one morning with a long, drawn out letter from the Joker for his admirer with a penchant for writing--the real one.
The letter was passed between all four occupants of the lair and each read it in turn.
The Joker was writing love letters and leaving them on the doorstep…
It was hastily agreed that it was most definitely time to move.
Preferably to another planet.